It took place over three weeks and was organised in two axes:
1.) Acquiring expertise and learning work tools for journalistic, essayistic, and theoretical writing on dance;
2.) Working towards an ethics of evaluation by nominating three laureates among a group of 12 young
choreographers featured in the [8:tensions]+ series as part of the festival. The invited journalists acted as the jury, discussed the presented works, defined categories, set up criteria, and distilled an ethics of judgement as it were.

The major national newspaper, Der Standard, offered a close collaboration and published articles produced during the Critical Endeavour programme. More texts by the young journalists are available on a blog on the website of Jardin d'Europe.

The participants of Critical Endeavour 2008 were: 

  • Bettina Hagen (AT)
  • Sebastien Hendrickx (NL)
  • Dora Juhasz (HU)
  • Berna Kurt (TR)
  • Mihaela Michailov (RO)
  • Nathalie Nad-Abonji (CH)
  • Domoina Ratsarahaingotiana (MG)
  • Ingrid Türk-Chlapek (AT)
  • Ani Vaseva (BE)
  • Ana Vilencia (RS)
  • Lindsey Winship (UK)


The following experts have been invited as mentors, presenting during periods of one to five days their professional experience and specific working strategies to participants:

  • Tiago Bartolomeo Costa, Obscena, (PT)
  • Prof. Susan Melrose, Middlesex University, (UK)
  • Gérard Mayen, Mouvement, (FR)
  • Gia Kourlas, The New York Times, (GR/US)
  • Hooman Sharifi, choreographer, (NO)
  • Peter T'Jonck, De Morgen, (BE)

Critical Endeavour offered a broad range of expert input, professional experience, debate and exchange with artists, peers, and various actors in the field to the young journalists. The participants were offered a broad range of possibilities for writing, publishing, experimenting and debating their concerns and their aesthetic / viewing experience gained via the wide range of choreographic work programmed during ImPulsTanz. In the course of the cooperation with the Austrian newspaper Der Standard, six articles have been published during the time of the project. After the implementation of the activity, the participants published reviews in newspapers and magazines in their home country, as well as in online magazines (about 5).

View the blog of Critical Endeavour 2008 >>here

Jury statement

The Jury of the 1st Ö1 Prix Jardin d’Europe award for young choreography was invited to participate in an experiment. Among a selection of twelve works whose choreographers did not know they were going to be part of a competitive viewing, the eleven members had to select an outstanding work to receive the sum of 10,000 Euros. Additionally, four residencies were proposed as extra awards.

This process – for a process it was – turned out to be a true adventure which finds one of its peak moments tonight when the nominees will be handed their respective prizes.

But it quickly turned out that difference in conception, experience, background, etc. within the group, as well as the wide range of aesthetic and social issues represented in the [8:tensions]+ series, would not allow for one and only one agreement.

The diversity of dance making and of dance appreciation called for a symbolic split. This, then, was the jury’s first choice: An award could only be given if there was a second one.

As the following elements were at hand:

·      two sculptures by Erwin Wurm, one of which was destined to be the trophy for the Ö1 prix

·      the sum of 10,000 Euros, donated by the Austrian radio station Ö1, for the choreographer to spend as they wish

·      four residencies of approximately two weeks’ duration, in Aix-en-Provence, Salzburg, Vienna, and probably Brussels

the jury reshuffled these elements and now awards two prizes. Without hierarchy. But with a big difference:


·      one award will be the big Erwin Wurm sculpture and a residency

·      one award will be the small Erwin Wurm sculpture plus 10,000 Euros


This difference concerns mainly the rules of the process and the institutional set-up, not so much the critical appreciation. As was said before: no hierarchy between the awards.

Three more awards will be given as a residency

All of these awards are for choreographic works and their authors who met with broad acclaim, dispute, dimensionality, and critical response throughout the jury’s meetings. These works are a demonstration of specificity and impact of approach, urgency of statement, broadening of the artistic field.


The Ö1 Prix Jardin d’Europe Young Choreography Award therefore does not conceive of itself as an instrument of ‘ruling out’ or of depreciation. Rather, we want to open the field for diverse approaches and not to re-affirm its borders by determining only one ‘winner’ who could be the example of excellence.


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